FENZ has advertised Group Manager positions in Hawkes Bay and Taranaki claiming anyone who has previously applied “for a Group Manager position in any region” is ineligible to apply for these positions.
The NZPFU has notified FENZ the exclusion of the those that have previously applied for positions is in breach of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 and the NZPFU collective agreement. We are deeply concerned that this is just another attempt by FENZ to control the pool of applicants so that they can appoint non-qualified personnel into positions that may be rostered or deployed to emergency incidents and take command and control roles. Why else would FENZ attempt to eliminate applications from SSOs and AMs and AAMs who have previously applied for Group Manager positions?
Section 27 the Act provides that a vacancy must be notified “in a manner sufficient to enable suitably qualified persons to apply for the position”. The collective agreement requires a notice to be posted inviting applications from the workers and that such applications will receive full consideration, and that vacancies and positions should be advertised in a way that encourages people with the right skills, knowledge and attributes to apply. Arbitrarily eliminating anyone who has previously applied for a Group Manager position does not comply with those requirements.
In addition, section 26 of the Act requires preference to the person most suited to the position, and the NZPFU collective agreement requires the appointment of the best-suited person to any vacancy. That in itself requires the opportunity of the best-suited to apply for the position, regardless of whether they have applied previously.
The NZPFU advises those members interested in the positions to apply regardless of whether they have previously applied for a Group Manager position before.
The NZPFU also encourages any member who has previously unsuccessfully applied for a Group Manager role. The process is explained in the notice posted on 7 July 2021. Should you require any assistance please contact the National Secretary.
Members are reminded that these positions are not subjected to the restrictions we fought through the Employment Court case. The notice explains the appointments that can be reviewed and that FENZ must appoint the most suited person for the position.